En Route to the Post-Apocalypse - John McAfee Predicts US "Annihilation"

En Route to the Post-Apocalypse - John McAfee Predicts US "Annihilation"

The Escapist sat down with tech's most infamous personality, John McAfee, to discuss why he believes criminal hackers around the world are hoping for an FBI win in its standoff with Apple.

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I'll be damned, an exclusive. Very nice.

OT: Yea, like others have said he is bat shit crazy but I can't help but to sort of agree with him on the matter.

I thought he was dead... :-\ clearly I'm wrong

John McAfee is crazy...

But he is right, you don't need access to Apple security to get access to the phone. There are so many security holes in any device, from user holes, to system holes. Any cracking group could do it, there is no reason to build intentional security holes into the software, that is idiotic.

"Known addict to synthetic stimulants so powerful they're best known for being "That zombie face-eating drug", and murderer makes rambling, paranoid, delusional statement."

And as you can see, not for the first time either.

Baresark:
John McAfee is crazy...

But he is right, you don't need access to Apple security to get access to the phone. There are so many security holes in any device, from user holes, to system holes. Any cracking group could do it, there is no reason to build intentional security holes into the software, that is idiotic.

Any cracking group that can delid the chip with an FIB, sure (and not just the heat sink). So none of them. The government however, is not "any cracking group", and is more than capable of managing it.

Cool story.

Can your company stop trying to push a crappy antivirus including a rootkit onto my computer with every other adobe update now please?

Can you imagine any universe in which the FBI has the power to break iPhone encryption, and simply chooses not to use it? I can't. There's no part of them that doesn't want ever more policing powers.

First best case scenario is for no key to be forged. Trusting McAfee may be a distant second, but still way the hell better that creating a reusable solution to a problem better left unsolved.

McAfee may be crazy but the potential implications to everyone's freedoms if this goes ahead have been highlighted by many others as well.

In the end Benjamin Franklin put it best:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

dragoongfa:
McAfee may be crazy but the potential implications to everyone's freedoms if this goes ahead have been highlighted by many others as well.

In the end Benjamin Franklin put it best:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Its a good quote but it also ignores the fact that we have always done what he warned about. Look at ww2 where we interned Japanese Americans, or the McCarthy era where we black listed a lot of people cause they might be commies. I'm fairly sure even in the revolutionary era we were doing similar things as well, but its been too long since I had a good history class.

Worgen:

dragoongfa:
McAfee may be crazy but the potential implications to everyone's freedoms if this goes ahead have been highlighted by many others as well.

In the end Benjamin Franklin put it best:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Its a good quote but it also ignores the fact that we have always done what he warned about. Look at ww2 where we interned Japanese Americans, or the McCarthy era where we black listed a lot of people cause they might be commies. I'm fairly sure even in the revolutionary era we were doing similar things as well, but its been too long since I had a good history class.

And most of those times acting like that not only didn't solve a problem but actually brought either shame or more problems down the road.

The internment of Japanese Americans was at the least hypocritical when contrasted with the treatment of German and Italian Americans; at worse it was a cowardly and abhorrent act against 'enemies' who the US government could easily strike at the time.

McCarthyism on the other hand, I have yet to see evidence that any of its many victims had any intention in harming the USA.

I consider myself right wing conservative and as such I do agree that during times of crisis certain measures have to be taken in order for the society to get through that crisis with as little damage as possible. However such measures must be for a singular purpose and only in order to combat the emergency that is that purpose. There has never been any reason for a society to sacrifice certain freedoms for an indefinite amount of time.

dragoongfa:

Worgen:

dragoongfa:
McAfee may be crazy but the potential implications to everyone's freedoms if this goes ahead have been highlighted by many others as well.

In the end Benjamin Franklin put it best:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Its a good quote but it also ignores the fact that we have always done what he warned about. Look at ww2 where we interned Japanese Americans, or the McCarthy era where we black listed a lot of people cause they might be commies. I'm fairly sure even in the revolutionary era we were doing similar things as well, but its been too long since I had a good history class.

And most of those times acting like that not only didn't solve a problem but actually brought either shame or more problems down the road.

The internment of Japanese Americans was at the least hypocritical when contrasted with the treatment of German and Italian Americans; at worse it was a cowardly and abhorrent act against 'enemies' who the US government could easily strike at the time.

McCarthyism on the other hand, I have yet to see evidence that any of its many victims had any intention in harming the USA.

I consider myself right wing conservative and as such I do agree that during times of crisis certain measures have to be taken in order for the society to get through that crisis with as little damage as possible. However such measures must be for a singular purpose and only in order to combat the emergency that is that purpose. There has never been any reason for a society to sacrifice certain freedoms for an indefinite amount of time.

My point wasn't that it wasn't bad, it was that we keep doing it and never learning not too.

The FBI are also apparently staffed by 15 years olds. Agents have been caught using federal resources to stalk people.

The examples McAfee gave of how a phone could be misused make me laugh. From what I've heard, there is a current problem with people having pictures taken unknowingly through cameras connected to the internet, but that's mainly webcams (as in, upright cameras on a desktop setup). For a phone to be hacked the same way, it would need both video recording features and for the user to be dumb enough to leave it on a table on its side with the camera pointed toward the room, and that's assuming the phone doesn't fall over.

On a more serious note, I'm not an expert, but isn't there a pretty big difference between hacking a phone remotely and hacking a phone you physically can hold? I'm pretty sure web browsers are sandboxed for a reason...

kimiyoribaka:
On a more serious note, I'm not an expert, but isn't there a pretty big difference between hacking a phone remotely and hacking a phone you physically can hold? I'm pretty sure web browsers are sandboxed for a reason...

Not particularly. Once you've hacked it, it's hacked. It does whatever the person who hacked it wants and lies to everyone else. It'll take pictures, record every action, upload it all, and pretend that nothing's wrong.

There's no flashing red "Hacked" light that goes off. The device will not betray itself by abnormal activity. If the FBI (or whoever) gets their backdoor, they can use it freely without leaving a trace. And so can anyone else in the entire world who gets their hands on the key.

Which is why I don't oppose this kind of stuff out of fear that Big Brother will be watching, but out of fear that some government guy will sell the magic key or just leave it carelessly laying around. If it exists, it will be an unspeakably valuable prize that hacker groups will expend every effort to obtain and governments will offer kings' ransoms for. I simply don't trust people who use "PASSWORD" as their password to practice the necessary cybersecurity or people making $50k a year not to sell out (neither of these are theoretical). All it takes is one leak from organizations infamous for leaking.

Fdzzaigl:
Cool story.

Can your company stop trying to push a crappy antivirus including a rootkit onto my computer with every other adobe update now please?

Actually, he no longer owns the company. Intel is the one you want to yell at.

He is without question correct. It sets a dangerous precedent and the fact is the FBI is well aware of this. That is why they are doing it. There is no chance that with all the cash and resources available would require apples assistance in this. They are making the claim simply so that they can get the foot in the door and make this precedent precisely so they CAN begin pushing down the slippery slope.

God knows I absolutely loathe apple for their business model and practices, but this is a case where even I will set aside my animosity for them and stand in defense of their right to defense against threats not foreign but in this case domestic.

McAfee is a bat-shit crazy, super fucking lunatic...BUT HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Nothing changes that fact, in my opinion. The greatest danger, should the FBI prevail, is not the information-deadly artifact that Apple will be forced to create but the precedent created for the creation of more such artifacts from other companies for other devices and systems. None of these artifacts will be permanently containable and eventually find their way into the wild world of the Internet. At that point, these artifacts become an invincible power that will destroy our entire information infrastructure as it currently exists. CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT: some could argue that may be a good thing because it forces the creation of something better, more stable, and more robust to replace it; however, it will be the equivalent of having a global-killer asteroid hit the Earth as a means of rebuilding civilization. Would you really want that kind of method used to build a better society?

geizr:
McAfee is a bat-shit crazy, super fucking lunatic...BUT HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

I think this is one of those times when the saying "even blind hens find a seed sometimes" applies. McAfee is crazy and we should not be taking his word as gospel just because he got it right this time. There are plenty of other people and organizations that are much more serious, and decidedly not crazy, that shares his position on this issue and they really deserve much more consideration then McAfee does.

Gethsemani:

geizr:
McAfee is a bat-shit crazy, super fucking lunatic...BUT HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

I think this is one of those times when the saying "even blind hens find a seed sometimes" applies. McAfee is crazy and we should not be taking his word as gospel just because he got it right this time. There are plenty of other people and organizations that are much more serious, and decidedly not crazy, that shares his position on this issue and they really deserve much more consideration then McAfee does.

I agree with you, but, in my opinion, that doesn't change the fact that in this one particular case, he is correct.

I don't understand the issue here.
My PC can be hacked, my android can be hacked, my set-top box an be hacked, my wifi can be hacked. Basically every devices I use can be hacked. But when it's about iPhones, it's conjuring armageddon?

If people doesn't want their stuff to be hacked, don't put sensitive stuff in your phone. Keep your password for yourself, don't give credit card numbers to everybody, and you should be fine.
And what's the point of freedom if you cannot protect yourself long enough to enjoy it?

If freedom was that important, it would have been selected by Nature instead of security, nutrition or reproduction. I don't think it did. So...

I know this is a bit of an aside to the main topic of discussion, but am I the only person here who thinks McAfee looks a little bit like a supervillain?
Honestly, he has that stare and overall look.
As if he'd be very comfortable to find himself torturing a british guy underneath a volcano with some kind of laser.

Anyway.
Congratulations on the exclusive.
It was interesting and a unique perspective on the whole issue, if a little disconcerting.
For multiple reasons.
One being the feeling that McAfee may just have superweapon aimed at all of our capital cities.

While I loathe the click-bait title, the man did say it.

"I wish other people would stand up. I feel alone up here, I really do,"

Damn straight. The Snowden whistleblowing and patriot acts should have caused a LOT more uproar, and no presidential candidate is willing to respect that part of the constitution.

 

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